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About TheStoryteller1

  • Rank
    Slang Poet


  • Currently studying
    Spanish, Serbian, little Japanese
  • Native tongue
  • Fluent in
    English, Bulgarian
  1. I'll admit right now, I haven't! I am hoping to one day soon read fiction in Serbian, Spanish, French and may be German. How about you guys? What have you read, or hope to?
  2. Well, I can't really afford a tutor right now. I'm changing jobs now, so I may have that option soon. But in the meantime, I don't want to sit and wait until I can afford it. I used to be the same way. I guess life changes us. Both languages I am learning now I can actually apply, but I have been a lot more socially anxious the past year, and the idea to say something that might have grammar mistakes or might be entirely wrong, frustrates me a lot more than it would have before. And therefore it's a lot easier to fall into speaking in English with everyone with whom that is a possibility. I'm trying to change that. Me too. I have been trying to take on too many things I guess, so organizing carefully hasn't been so easy.
  3. LOL...yeah I used to be like that. That's why getting into university was a blast instead of a problem for me:D. However I have gotten into bigger problem period/issue. It's very complex, and it has many issues coming up all the time, and so sometimes it feels that I have to take time for that over everything else, or I should be using all my time to solve it(which of course doesn't help because it's an issue that needs time anyway). So while I am solving it, sometimes I can not concentrate on studies at all, because it doesn't feel like I can stop thinking about problems even for a moment... It's been getting a little easier lately though, hope that continues.... Everyone seems to be doing a lot of great things this summer, and I am hoping one of my great things to be learning a bigger chunk of the languages I'm learning.
  4. I know what you mean. Dancing ballet is learning me to be more patient with improvements, but still...With kanji I am like that- I don't know enough yet, but if I did- I have no way of knowing if I have learned it completely wrong. What do you mean by cannot grasp exactly? Well, may be it's that those things you learned came naturally to you, but then German didn't. I tend to not have too hard time with languages, but then I took French in university. I missed the first 2 classes, and the class was supposed to be fully in French, no English translation unless absolutely necessary. First few weeks I felt like I'm studying Chinese, not French, it sounded so foreign and incomprehensible. Then it got slightly better. However, it's still harder for me to study it in comparison to probably at least 10 other languages. You just have to give it more time and effort probably.
  5. I haven't managed to do it lately, but here is what is the best motivator for me: entering a whole new world. There is a stage at which you are learning and learning and piecing things together bit by bit, just for learning the language or another reason. And then you move on to the part you are fluent, and just need occasional additional work. That's the moment. From then on, it's a part of you and it opens you to new things. You can watch movies in that language without subtitles and talk to people from that country without feeling inadequate. You can listen to songs and read a whole bunch more things that you wouldn't have been able to in your language. There are specifics that translation doesn't cover. That's what I like. Entering that whole new world that a language can open to you.
  6. I was always good in learning languages, or at least that's how it went with English and anything else in high school and university. Lately I want to learn 2 languages at least(Serbian and Spanish) and I keep studying sporadically, but I don't make consistent effort. And the more time passes, the more I'm afraid that somehow I can't learn them properly, and that even if I do I may make mistake that I don't have a clue about...with both, I'm still at the stage where it's a new language. It will be a while before I'm at the stage where I am fluent and only add new words and brush up on things and correct mistakes. I know it's a language and there are rules and structure, and I can't exactly "fail", I just have to sit down and study...yet I keep procrastinating and being afraid of making wrong sentences and not know how to say something...ever felt like that?
  7. Just the same as with any other language I suppose. Try to follow the structure of TEOFL exams. What I mean is, leave some time for the 4 basic components- writing, speaking, listening, reading + grammar and vocabulary. Try to listen to spanish movies with subtitles, and later when you have partial understanding- radio etc. Also songs. Youtube videos. You won't have a problem with reading, I'm sure there are a lot of news and magazine webpages in spanish. For writing once you have a grip on some grammar and words, give yourself a topic and write a paragraph about it. Or, if you know anyone who knows spanish, write them an email in it. For programs, I'm all for Duolingo, they are nice and easy to use. Also, for dictionary, spanishdict.com- and they also have games, flashcards and other things. Nice place for small exercises. And, today I found a site where you can find audio(radio or something online) in language of your choice and there are many. I was in fact searching for spanish and they had 7-8 options, so you can check it out for the listening component.
  8. Interesting, that one was really easy for me to learn, I think. I remember we had one of those fully sentences for studying English with it though, may be that's why I ended up learning it so easy. It was one of those sentences in which everything sounds the same if you say it fast...something like: Two(2) teas for 222. (someone ordering room service in a hotel room 222) In any case, if you say 222 as two-two-two the whole sentence is very funny:).
  9. Anyone ever made that mistake? For some reason, took me quite a while to differentiate them...and I still mess up sometimes... :shy: Have you done that? How did you learn which is which?
  10. Those are good ideas, thanks! I have music player in the kitchen, and I usually just put CD in or connect it to my mp3...I keep forgetting that I can put the radio on and listen to the language while I am cooking, that may be useful even if I don't understand all. I never buy newspapers, but that is a good point. I do have some books and magazines in the language, which I can use to improve. I agree and disagree at the same time. Sometimes I have weeks when I work 12-14-16 hours a day, and by the time I'm done I'm too tired for anything. But at the same time now I am training a lot, which I didn't have time for before. I just had to give up doing some of the extra work hours. I've learned some time management, I guess the biggest part which I should still work through is knowing when I should give up doing something for doing something else. I have a lot of priorities and a lot of things important to me and a lot of interests...something's got to give...you can't do all at the same time. But I do agree that if the language learning is important to me I should figure out how important and fit it in the plan. Well, I actually work from home, and if I am out I am walking/training, so I need my focus on that. But some of your other ideas might be good. I guess the whole problem is that I am too overwhelmed with a lot of things, and a lot of the times setting time aside to study feels like I'm avoiding something that I should deal with(like work problem)- even though I know that I have chosen to study that language, and that it will be really useful to know it. Saying to myself that it will only be for 5 min and then I can get back to everything else relieves some of the pressure of trying to set aside time. I do usually end up doing somewhat more. Me too, but things were a lot more simple in high school. Sometimes in the past weeks I work and train so many hours, that what I am left with might be only 1 hour for other stuff...and I have more than 1 language/subject I am trying to study. Fun idea!
  11. My question is for all those of you who want to know more than just 2 languages(which on this forum I assume are a lot of us). How do you study? Do you learn 1 language to a point of fluency and only then tackle another, or do you study few at a time? And if you are doing the second one, what advice do you have for people trying to do that? I am trying to study 2 languages at the same time now(Spanish and Serbian, so they are as different as it gets) and I am wondering if this isn't slowing my progress. I don't know if I shouldn't give up one until I'm fluent in the other. But at the same time I am at a perfect opportunity for learning both and I think I should take it. What do you guys do?
  12. I don't like the shortcuts like w8, I don't know all of them so it would be hard to read a message fast like that. However I do use shortcuts often, just things like "u" instead of "you." I have a limitation for sms how many characters you can use in one on my phone, and I have prepaid number, so when I need a lot of messages to someone, and don't have the money, this is a good solution.
  13. A little of both for sure. Generally I like learning alone until I'm at least semi-proficient. I learn better that way. However I have found that I only really became fluent in English when I was in international university with a lot of English-speaking students and that was the only way to communicate with them. I am now suddenly surrounded by a lot of Spanish speaking people, so I think that's the perfect chance to learn Spanish well, finally.
  14. I think that happens in anything you start doing that isn't your main thing in life at the time(meaning studies/work/child etc). It's like hitting a wall with the amount of information you can get in yourself, or the amount of training you can do or anything really. You have covered the basics and once you have, improvements start getting slower and harder to get to, while it becomes increasingly harder to find the time for all that. It's natural. And yes, happens to me with all languages I'm studying, all the time. In fact, I took breaks of each of them at times. I used to be very all or nothing, if I can't spend few hours weekly with the language I leave it completely. Now I wish I had learned 1 word a day from it, I would know 1000 words in Spanish by now probably. And those small changes are what can keep you going, if you trust yourself, because it will be 1 word today- and 3 months and some more later you can have 100 words more in your vocabulary. It sounds little, but little changes make big impact in a long run. I think the first wall you hit in enthusiasm is because when you start you are building from 0- anything you learn is more than what you started from. But once you have the basics, you start expecting a lot more from yourself, times and times more. You want big changes and the small improvements don't feel so big anymore.
  15. We are talking about things you don't HAVE to necessarily learn right away, but you just want to learn them anyway. My method is 5 min a day- if you don't have time for something, 5 min is still better than nothing. I've am one of those people that study a lot of languages at a time. So consequently when work gets busy, I leave some of them and forget about them. I left Japanese for example, about a year ago. I'd studied about half of the first level, and my schedule got busy. Japanese was the language I was learning the most "for the fun of it" and didn't even have with whom to practice, so I gave up on it. Looking through some links here I got inspired about Japanese again, found an interesting site for learning it, and went through the first lesson(just basic greetings, few words and no grammar,9min). I figure, I can always set aside few min a day. And learning a word a day is still better then nothing, right? If you learn 1 word a day even every other day, you'd still know 100-200 words in a years time. Yes, it's not a lot...but it's more than I have learned in Japanese in the past year. When you can give nothing more to it, I think minimalistic approach is the best. What do you think? What is your way of studying when you are really busy?
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